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Entries in Child Molestation (34)

Wednesday
Jul182012

Border Patrol Applicant Admits to Molestation, Bestiality in Job Interview

Yuma County Sheriff's Office(YUMA, Ariz.) -- Cody Slaughter may have been a little too forthcoming while interviewing for a job with the border patrol.

The 22-year-old from Somerton, Ariz., was arrested last week after U.S. Customs and Border Protection notified the Yuma County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) that during a July 2 "pre-employment screening" Slaughter admitted that he had molested a 2-year-old girl eight years ago, had sexual interactions with a dog, horse and pig, and had a history of drug use.  Slaughter later confirmed his statements to sheriff investigators, YCSO Maj. Leon Wilmot said in a police report.

Slaughter was arrested on charges of one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor when he was 14 and three counts of bestiality between 2004 and 2012, but he was released on July 10 because the Yuma County Attorney's Office had not yet filed criminal charges against him.

Prosecutors have sent the case back to the YCSO for further investigation, and Chief Criminal Deputy County Attorney Roger Nelson said charges will likely be filed eventually, the Yuma Sun reported.

Justice of the Peace Jorge Lozano told Slaughter that charges could still be filed later, in which case he would be summoned back to court, the Sun reported.

According to the police report, the YCSO obtained a search warrant based on Slaughter's statements and searched his house.  Investigators recovered "several items that directly link the suspect to his prior statements and admissions," Wilmot said in the report.

The state has one year to file a misdemeanor charge and up to seven years to file other charges, Lozano said, according to the Sun.

Slaughter did not respond to multiple calls placed on Monday and Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul172012

George Zimmerman's Lawyer Calls Molestation Claim 'Irrelevant'

ABC News(MIAMI) -- A lawyer for accused murderer George Zimmerman said on Monday that a woman who claims he molested her for years as a child was Zimmerman's cousin and said his legal team would "vigorously defend" him against the allegations.

Lawyer Mark O'Mara also appeared to question why the prosecution released the woman's accusation.  In a statement Monday, O'Mara said that he had sought to block the release last month arguing, "The content of this statement is not relevant to the issues of this case, and it would not be admissible in the state's case in chief."

He also argued that the "irrelevant statement should be withheld from public dissemination" for fear that it would create "hostile publicity" that could "pose a serious threat to the administration of justice."

Judge Kenneth Lester had rejected O'Mara's motion, but the lawyer filed a new motion on Monday to block the release of the woman's statement.  The prosecution, however, released her claim, along with other evidence in the case which includes dozens of Zimmerman's jailhouse phone calls.

The woman is identified in court papers only a Witness 9.

"Now that this statement is part of the public record, the defense will vigorously defend Mr. Zimmerman against the allegations.  In the next several weeks, there will be reciprocal discovery filed regarding Witness #9's statement," O'Mara said.

The prosecution contends that they were simply following an earlier ruling by the court that called for the release.

Zimmerman, charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, is not charged in connection to the molestation accusations.  He is currently out of jail on a $1 millon bond.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun202012

Dad Not Charged in Alleged Molester's Death

ABC News(SHINER, Texas) -- A Texas rancher who beat his daughter's accused molester to death moments after he discovered the man raping the 5-year-old girl, will not be charged with his homicide, officials said, as they released chilling 911 tapes of the father calling for help as the other man died.

A grand jury Tuesday decided not to indict the 24-year-old father who beat ranch hand Jesus Mora Flores to death with his bare hands, after finding the man abusing his daughter behind a barn.

"I need an ambulance. This guy was raping my daughter and I don't know what to do," the father is heard telling dispatchers in a frantic call to 911.

The attack happened on June 9 at an isolated ranch near Shiner, Texas. A witness saw Flores "forcibly carrying" the girl into a secluded area and ran to find the father, according to court documents. Running towards his daughter's screams, the father found Flores and the girl, both with their underwear removed, according to police reports.

He pulled Flores off the little girl and "inflicted several blows to the man's head and neck area," according to documents.

Authorities who examined the girl and Flores' body confirmed a sexual assault had occurred.

ABC News does not identify the victims of sexual assault, and is not identifying the father in an effort to protect the minor girl's identity.

The father called 911 from a cell phone and did not immediately know his exact whereabouts, making it difficult for emergency personnel to find him.

"Come on! This guy is going to die on me!" the man yelled at the 911 dispatcher. "I don't know what to do."

The father was never arrested, but Flores' death was investigated as a homicide.

"Under the law in the state of Texas deadly force is authorized and justified in order to stop an aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault," District Attorney Heather McMinn told reporters.

"All the evidence provided by the sheriff's department and the Texas Rangers indicated that's what was occurring when the victim's father arrived at the scene," she said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun182012

Defense to Begin in Jerry Sandusky's Child Sex Abuse Trial

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) -- The defense is expected to start its case Monday in the child sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.  

The 68-year-old is charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year span and could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

Last week, jurors in the Belleftone, Pa., courtroom heard gripping testimony from eight alleged victims, and on Monday, the defense will begin to try to prove that the accusers embellished their stories and were motivated by money.  It's a task that Sandusky's attorneys have called "daunting" and have compared to "climbing Mt. Everest."

The defense may claim Sandusky has histrionic personality disorder, a condition that requires excessive attention-seeking, though psychiatrists say that condition has never been linked to child sex abuse.

Sandusky himself may also take the stand this week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun132012

Alleged Victim Says He Was Twice Threatened by Jerry Sandusky

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) -- Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky twice threatened an 11-year-old boy over oral sex, once telling the frightened kid he would "never see my family again" if he spoke about the alleged assault, a witness testified Wednesday in the sex abuse trial.

The witness, who is now 25 and identified by ABC News only as Victim 10, told the court that he was in Sandusky's basement in 1998 when they were wrestling and the "defendant pinned me to the ground and pulled my shorts down and started performing oral sex on me," he said.

"I freaked out.  I was scared," Victim 10 testified.  The witness said the alleged assault lasted "a couple of minutes."

"He then went back upstairs.  He told me if I told anyone that I would never see my family again," the witness said.

Sandusky later returned to the basement.  "He apologized for saying that and that he didn't mean it and that he loved me," Victim 10 said.

The witness said that on another occasion he was riding in Sandusky's car when the coach asked the boy to perform oral sex on him, and the boy refused.

"He got displeased with what I told him.  He made a threat to me," Victim 10 testified, and said he then carried out the sex act that Sandusky allegedly demanded.

Victim 10, who was living in a foster home at the time, was the third adult to describe in wrenching detail alleged sex assaults carried out by Sandusky on young boys.  The former Penn State assistant coach is charged with 52 counts of sex abuse stemming from 10 alleged victims.  Sandusky, 68, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the charges.

Victim 10 said that during his second year at the Second Mile summer camp, Sandusky swam up between his legs, lifted the boy on his shoulders, and reached up under his shorts and fondled him.  The boy felt uncomfortable, but did not say anything.

Sandusky then began asking to hang out with the boy, taking him to football games and to his house, where he sexually assaulted the boy "at least five times," the man said.  The man's roommate at that camp is also an accuser in the case, according to testimony elicited by defense attorney Joseph Amendola, who tried to point to a relationship between the two victims and the possibility of collusion.  Victim 10 said he had not spoken to the other accuser in the past year.

Amendola also questioned Victim 10 about his criminal past, including a recent 23-month stint in state prison for robbery of an "older gentleman," and an earlier theft conviction which Victim 10 confirmed.  He said he is now married and expecting his first child.  He also said he was not represented by any private attorney, upon Amendola's questioning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun132012

Jerry Sandusky Jury Braces to Hear From Two More Victims

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) -- Two men in their twenties, who claim that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky molested them as young boys, are expected to give even more graphic testimony on Wednesday in the sex abuse trial that has left some jurors wiping tears from their eyes.

The men have been identified in a grand jury report as Victim 5 and Victim 7.  They would be the third and fourth alleged victims out of eight who are scheduled to testify against Sandusky, who is charged with 52 counts of sex abuse stemming from 10 alleged victims.  Sandusky, 68, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the charges.

The third day of the trial will build on the testimony of Victims 1 and 4, who both gave chilling accounts of being forced to have sexual contact with Sandusky, bringing some of the seven women and five men on the jury to tears.

Also expected to testify on Wednesday is John McQueary, the father of star witness Mike McQueary, an assistant football coach who on Tuesday told the jury that he was confident that in 2001, he walked into the football locker room showers and saw Sandusky raping a young boy.  He told the court that he banged his locker door and looked directly at Sandusky, then left and called his father.

John McQueary will be asked by prosecutor Joseph McGettigan and defense attorney Joseph Amendola about what Mike McQueary said he saw that night in the locker room.  Mike McQueary testified that after calling his father he went to his father's home and recounted at least three times, in "vague" terms, what had been going on in the showers.

"I even said, 'Dad, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on,'" McQueary told the court on Tuesday.

Sandusky's defense team tried to prove that McQueary changed his account of what he saw in the showers as he relayed it to different people, leading to a heated exchange between McQueary and defense attorney Karl Rominger.

The defense is also expected to go after the credibility and the accounts of the two accusers who may be called on Wednesday.  Victim 5, a 22-year-old, testified to the grand jury about an incident in which Sandusky tried to force the boy when he was 8 or 9 to touch his erect penis in a sauna after a workout.  And Victim 7, now 26, said Sandusky reached into his shorts, but didn't fondle him, and recalled a "blurry memory" of contact with Sandusky in a shower in his grand jury testimony.

Amendola, who has said his strategy is to show that the alleged victims are lying about their accounts in order to make money off of a Penn State-affiliated coach, will likely question the men about the accuracy of their memories, the lack of sexual touching, and the reason they came forward to police when they did, more than 10 years after the incidents.

The defense has said that they may call Dottie Sandusky, Jerry Sandusky's wife, as a witness during the defense's presentation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun122012

Jerry Sandusky Offered Victim 4 a Contract to Keep Seeing Him

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) -- A man who claims he was sexually abused as a boy for years by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky told a jury on Monday that when he tried to pull away from Sandusky the ex-coach had him sign a contract offering him money in return for seeing him at least once a week.

The witness, who is now 28 and identified only as Victim 4 by ABC News, collected some cash from Sandusky, but soon broke off contact.

The witness said the offer in 1999 was called the "Program" and was ostensibly made to ensure that the boy would continue with his studies and athletics.  It promised $1,000 for every year of education the boy pursued after high school, plus additional money for seeing Sandusky, going to hockey practice and working out 3 times a week, he testified.

But Victim 4 said the proposed deal came as he tired of years of sexual abuse, as often as three times a week for three years.  When asked by Sandusky's lawyer Joseph Amendola whether the offer was made in good faith, the witness rejected that suggestion.

"No, no.  You're not understanding.  This is when I'm trying to get away from him.  I signed it to shut him up.  And that's not the only thing it's offering me money for....It's not that simple, not in my mind, sorry," he said.

Victim 4 also said that Sandusky drove him to buy marijuana and cigarettes and watched while the boy smoked pot in Sandusky's car.

The witness said Sandusky's attention began as soap battles in a Penn State locker room when he was 13, but became more aggressive and insistent the more time they spent together.  He told the jury on the first day of the trial that he had to resort to hiding in his bedroom closet to avoid Sandusky trying to prey on him at his home.

"I'd come home from school and look out the window and he' d be there and I'd grab the phone and hide in the closet," the man, who was 13 when the alleged abuse began, testified.

The man's testimony was the first of what is expected to be a series of wrenching and sexually graphic witness testimonies detailing what they claim that Sandusky, now 68, did to them when they were young boys.

Sandusky is charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a period of 15 years.  The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun112012

Opening Statements to Begin in Jerry Sandusky's Trial

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) -- Opening statements are set to begin Monday in the child sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.  The 68-year-old is charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year span.

Eight of the alleged victims are prepared to testify in the Bellefonte, Pa., courtroom, including a now 28-year-old man identified as "Victim 4" who is expected to be the first witness to take the stand.

His attorney, Ben Andreozzi, says his client has a very strong case.

"I honestly believe that the prosecution could put victim number four on the stand, rest the case and be done and Sandusky would be in jail for the rest of his life," says Andreozzi.

As former Pennsylvania prosecutor Kathleen Kane points out, quantity makes this case different from many other sex abuse cases and it's Sandusky's biggest problem.

"The volume of witnesses and their testimony taken as a whole and in repetition shows that Jerry Sandusky touched them in a sexual manner with the intent of it being sexual and it was not just an accident or a mistake," she says.

Love letters that Sandusky supposedly sent to the boys will be also offered as corroborating evidence.

But it will hardly be an open and shut case.

Sandusky's defense team is expected to attack the believability of each accuser and question the delay between the alleged molestation and when it was reported.  They say the alleged victims are lying and may have colluded to bring down a respected advocate for children.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun082012

Jerry Sandusky Case Poses Problems for Prosecutors

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- When former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and charged with 52 counts of child sex abuse late last year, the sheer quantity of allegations and accusers made it seem like Sandusky faced an insurmountable problem in avoiding a conviction.

On Monday, however, the state of Pennsylvania will face the burden of proof as the Sandusky trial officially begins and prosecutors try to convince a jury that Sandusky, beyond a reasonable doubt, molested 10 boys.  The holes in their case, and the ways in which defense attorney Joseph Amendola exploits them, will be the focus for the jury.

"It's generally thought that it is the sheer numbers that are the biggest problem that Sandusky is going to have," said Scott Coffina, a Philadelphia-based attorney who has followed the case.  "But these are largely dated accusations, and the type of people Sandusky came in contact with had problems in their lives, that's why they came in contact with him.  All of these things will affect the cross examination of these guys."

Sandusky was arrested in November 2011, following a three-year grand jury investigation into allegations of sexual abuse sparked by a high school freshman in 2008 who claimed he was molested by the former coach.  Now, eight victims are expected to testify during the trial, claiming that they were "groomed" by Sandusky through his charity, The Second Mile, and then molested by him in his home and around the Penn State campus.

To counter their allegations, Amendola will go after the credibility and motive of the accusers, questioning their personal histories, any criminal pasts, troubled upbringing, and the possibility that the men colluded to make money off a famous and well-connected football coach.

"To the extent that any of these now young men has filed a lawsuit for monetary damages, that is a fact the defense is allowed to bring up.  It is the bias defense, i.e. the 'you're in it for the money' approach," said Jules Epstein, a law professor at Widener University in Pennsylvania.

Epstein said that Amendola could go after at least four weaknesses in the victims' testimony: the delay between when they were allegedly molested and when they were reported, the apparent inconsistency between being abused and remaining friendly with the abuser, the possibility of an ulterior motive for bringing charges now, and the vague dates of when the alleged assaults occurred.

Amendola confirmed to ABC News in November that he would go after the credibility of the alleged victims, including Victim 1, whom Amendola said had changed his story because of pampering from the prosecution, as well as Victim 4, whom Amendola said remained friends with Sandusky until recently.

In addition to going after the credibility of the victims, the question of credibility may focus heavily on the prosecution's star witness, assistant football coach Mike McQueary.

McQueary testified to a grand jury that in March 2002 he saw Sandusky raping a young boy, about age 10, in the showers of the football team's locker rooms.  In the grand jury presentment, the act is described as "anal rape."

However, during a court hearing earlier this year, McQueary backed off that statement, instead describing what he saw as "extremely sexual," with Sandusky's hands wrapped around the boy's waist as the boy was pressed up against the shower wall.  He said he heard "rhythmic slapping sounds," but did not see insertion and could not be certain that it was anal rape.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun052012

Jury Selection to Begin in Jerry Sandusky Trial

Rob Carr/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday denied a defense motion to delay the trial of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is accused of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year-period.

That means jury selection in the case will get underway Tuesday, with the trial scheduled to begin on June 11.

In asking for a delay, lead defense attorney Joe Amendola unsuccessfully argued that two potential defense witnesses and two experts are unavailable for the trial date, while an investigator is having surgery.

Sandusky has maintained his innocence since being arrested last November in a scandal that cast dark aspersions on the Penn State athletic program and cost legendary head coach Joe Paterno his job.  Paterno, 85, died of lung cancer last January.

In other developments Monday, the identities of eight alleged victims of child abuse will be made public during the trial, Judge John Cleland ruled.

Four of the alleged victims had petitioned to keep their identities anonymous by allowing them to use pseudonyms.  All of the victims have been previously denoted only by a number, such as "Victim 1" and "Victim 2," during the investigation and pre-trial hearings.

However, when the actual trial begins next week, the court will not take any official action to protect their identities as the alleged victims testify against Sandusky, 68, who is charged with 52 counts of child molestation.

"While I will make every effort to be sensitive to the nature of the alleged victims' testimony, once the trial begins the veil must be lifted," Cleland wrote in an order released on Monday.

The victims are expected to testify about the incidents in which Sandusky allegedly molested them, including on Penn State's campus, in the football locker room showers, in the campus hotel Toftrees, in Arizona at the 1998 Outback Bowl Game, and in Texas' 1999 Alamo Bowl game.

If the four victims choose not to testify in light of Cleland's ruling, the prosecution will be left with four other victims as well as witnesses to prove the charges of molestation and child rape against Sandusky.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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